The Social Security Administration administers two programs for people who have become disabled and need monthly benefit payments to make up for their inability to work and earn a living: Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI).
Because eligibility to both of these disability programs are heavily fact driven, disabled individuals could receive: both SSDI and SSI (Concurrent claims), SSDI only, SSI only, or possibly neither. It's important to consult with an experienced disability attorney to properly guide you through the application and appeals process for these two programs.
Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI)
SSDI is a program designed for people who have worked and paid taxes into the Social Security system for years prior to becoming disabled. If an individual is judged disabled, the individual will receive SSDI benefits regardless of the individual's assets or family income.
Social Security Disability Insurance is funded through payroll taxes. SSDI recipients are considered "insured" because they have worked for a certain number of years and have made contributions to the Social Security trust fund in the form of FICA Social Security taxes. After receiving SSDI for two years, a disabled person will become eligible for Medicare.
Under SSDI, a disabled person's spouse and children dependents are eligible to receive partial dependent benefits, called auxiliary benefits. However, only adults over the age of 18 can receive the SSDI disability benefit.
There is a five-month waiting period for benefits, meaning that the SSA won't pay you benefits for the first five months after you become disabled. The amount of the monthly benefit after the waiting period is over depends on your earnings record, much like the Social Security retirement benefit.
Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
(SSI) is a needs-based program designed to pay benefits to disabled individuals who have very limited income and assets. You do not have to have worked to qualify for SSI, and benefits are funded by general fund taxes - not from the Social Security trust fund. SSI recipients receive Medicaid in the state they reside in.
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